Saturday, January 22, 2011

"To Kill a Mockingbird": A new book and documentary

Mary Murphy is a sponsor of Decatur Docs, a new series of indy documentaries being shown in downtown Decatur, GA. Tonight (Saturday January 22) the group presents the Southeastern premiere of Mary Murphy's new film Hey Boo: Harper Lee & '"To Kill A Mockingbird."

Mary Badham, who played Scout in Robert Mulligan's 1962 film adaptation of the novel, is scheduled to appear.

Murphy did not interview the reclusive author, now 84, who gave her last interview in 1964 and lives quietly in Monroeville, Alabama.
“She has in the past written ‘hell no’ on the tops of letters from reporters,” Murphy said recently in the online Access Atlanta site. “I felt fortunate her agent even agreed to meet with me. I did not expect to talk to her.” The film does include talks with Lee’s sister Alice and her New York friends Joy and Michael Brown, who on Christmas 1956 gave Lee money to take a year off from her job as an airline reservations clerk. Lee used the money to work on the novel.

Lynn Peisner of Access Atlanta calls the documentary "an enlightened love letter." As the Verb site puts it, "In the popular mind, there are two giants of Southern Writing: Mockingbird, and that trashy thing whats-her-name wrote over on Peachtree Street." An hour before tonight's 8 p.m. screening at Decatur High School's Performing Arts Center, Murphy will be signing copies of the documentary's companion book Scout, Atticus and Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill A Mockingbird, recently published by HarperCollins.

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